A TV crew from Britain and Australia got more than they bargained for during their South African safari holiday.
An unexpected encounter with a wild herd of 40 elephants turned their leisure trip into a hair-raising adventure. The crew members had just wrapped up filming the Australian version of ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’ in Kruger National Park.
While planning for a peaceful safari experience at a local lodge, they found themselves in a potentially dangerous predicament as a herd of elephants, spooked by the presence of a pride of lions, stampeded around their safari truck.
The lions prowled for an effortless meal among the vulnerable elephant calves, causing the adult elephants to go into defense mode and inadvertently putting the tourists in the thick of the stampede.
Trent Holmes, a 40-year-old TV producer who captured the heart-stopping scene on film, shared the details of their nerve-wracking experience.
The crew’s guide, Gert Kruger, had initially taken them off the main path due to a nearby elephant trumpeting. However, this detour soon turned into a harrowing encounter as they ended up right in the middle of the charging elephants.
During the turmoil, the crew’s guide maintained composure and kept them safe by instructing them to stay quiet and composed.
Even after the nerve-wracking charges from the elephants, one of which came dangerously close to their vehicle, Kruger’s calm demeanor and experience helped defuse the situation.
Kruger finally managed to steer their truck away from the scene when the entire herd had crossed their path, ensuring a safe distance from the herd.
According to Holmes, despite the terror, it was an extraordinary experience. They felt a profound sense of relief once they had put distance between themselves and the elephants.
They couldn’t help but laugh at Kruger’s comment that such encounters were a daily occurrence, a claim that was hard to believe for the crew.
Reflecting on the incident, Holmes revealed that the guide didn’t immediately drive away because the presence of lions had agitated the elephants, and any abrupt movements might have provoked them into attacking their vehicle.
Elephants, weighing up to 6000kg and standing as tall as 11 feet, are known for their capability to cause severe damage to vehicles and even pose a deadly threat to humans when agitated. Each year, approximately 500 people worldwide lose their lives to elephant attacks.